|Knud Lavard's Kapel|
Knud Lavard was buried in Haraldsted church (he was later buried in Ringsted church), after he was murdered in the forest at Haraldsted (Harrested Ore, "Lavardskov"), where he the night before had visited his family, Cæcilia, the daughter of Knud den Hellige and her husband Erik, earl and chief of Falster. Where Knud Lavard was killed, tells Saxo, a spring gushed up as a healing power for people (later in the Middle Ages another spring is mentioned, it came up where the bearers placed the stretcher while resting, when they brought the body from Haraldsted church to Ringsted). The tradition connected for a long time the memory about Knud Lavard and the holy spring to "Sværtekilde" 2 km north of Haraldsted village. It now lies upon an open field, but a long time ago it was surrounded by forest. (here was still in the 1800s held mysterious midsummer feasts). It was also at this place where the chapel, built in the honor of Knud Lavard, supposedly was situated. This chapel had disappeared already in the 1500s, since a letter of 20/ 4 1566 from the Ringsted-abbot Frands Andersen to Frederik II mentions that there was a chapel at the small "Kellegaard" (Kildegård: kilde = spring), where the priest lived, and which earlier was used by the kloster-person, who had the supervision of the chapel for the sake of the indulgence-sale. In 1855, when Frederik VII let make examinations at Ringsted, they also searched in vain for the rests of this chapel at Sværtekilden by Kastrupgård. In some new examinations in 1883 dr. Henry Petersen found the ruin, but in quite another place, namely east northeast of Haraldsted village, at a place, which on the map was referred to as Kildemur ( = spring wall), close to the outskirt of V. After the reformation the chapel was probably used secularly, maybe for scullery or bakery. In the forester's lot outside the Hellebjergskoven (forest) was raised a cross 8/6 1902, Knud Lavard's kors, a 4 m tall wooden cross with a copper roof, given by Thor Lange with the inscription: "Hellig Knud Hertug, + 7 Jan. 1131" and upon a shield "Sursum corda". In 1912 was at the church place raised a memorial, also given by Thor Lange, with one of his inscriptions: " Her stod Haraldsted Kongsgaard." and below "Taarn og Tinde Tid forøder, Fortids Minde Fremtid føder." ( something like: time destructs tower and spire, but the prehistoric memory feeds the future)
About 700 m east of the church lies the ruin (excavated 1884) of Knud Lavard's kapel, a Romanesque plan with apse, choir and nave, which already in the Romanesque period was extended to the west. The building was built ab. 1150 in travertine ashlars upon a double plinth, above which the walls are kept till 1 m height. The original door-places to the south and north have outer rabbet and inside bevelled frames. Still in the Romanesque period, possibly ab. 1170, the nave was extended to the west, also with travertine and upon a similar plinth. The door in the extension to the west has an outer rabbet, but straight frames. The chapel was overvaulted in ab. 1250, and at the same time the original doors were bricked up, and a new brick door was made in the north wall of the nave. In the western section of the building was found a brick floor in zigzag-pattern, probably from the same period as the vaults.
Haraldsted belonged acc. to Valdemars jordebog to the king and worked probably as its own birk (judicial district). Here was probably a kongsgaard (king's castle) which Knud Lavard's relative Erik Jarl ab. 1130 had as a vasalry. In 1253 Christoffer I gave hr. Gunzelin, count of Schwerin "all property in Haraldsted" as a vasalry. Ab. 1520 belonged H. or a parts of it under Skjoldenæs vasalry, and followed this later to Roskildegård, and came from here in 1585 to Ringsted kloster. In 1588 the village or parts of it burnt down. In 1621 the vasal of Ringsted vasalry, hr. Axel Urne was given royal command to give the priest in H. free timber for the rebuild of his burnt house. At the same time he was told to let rebuild and repair the church- barn, so the king could sleep there, when he passed the place. In 1622 the king's road between Antvorskov slot and H. is mentioned, and in 1626 the peasants in Roskilde vasalry had restraining order to make a road for the king between H. and Roskilde. There is undoubtedly a close connection between these king's roads and "Kongens Hus" in H. Still in 1639 neither road or house seem to be provided for. This year Jørgen Seefeldt at Ringsted kloster was ordered to as soon as possible to build the house in H. , which the king had commanded. From Chr. IV's last years and from Frederik III's time are several reports that royal persons resided in H., but under Chr. V. the house was probably demolished and the materials were sold. A farm close south southwest of the church has still got the name "Kongsgården".
On the north side of the eastern part of Langesø (lake) south of the village Valsømagle was a main farm, where the castle bank still exists. It seems that it from the 1300s belonged to a family Dyre. In 1377 is mentioned a Peder Dywr of Hwalsoemagle, in 1396 Jep Pedersen Dyur. In 1451 is mentioned a Jens Diur and 1459-61 Aage Diur in V.magle. In 1459-63 is also mentioned væbner Peder Nielsen Bryske, who used the coat of arms of the family Iis; in 1488-96 is mentioned a modest man Niels Mortensen in V. magle, whose ancestors by the kings had got sealed letters of "some freedom", which letters king Hans confirmed in 1488. In 1496 deeded Niels Mortensen his farm to hr. Henrik Meinstrup, high court judge at Sjælland, (+ 1497), who gave the king 2 other farms for his rights in the farm. It is obvious to assume that it was this farm, which his daughter, fru Anne Meinstrup (after her marriage to Holger Eriksen Rosenkrantz, + 1496. She was called Anne Holgers) later owned and resided. She was in 1535 under grevefejden (civil war) killed by the peasants at the Sjælland Thing in Ringsted, and her farm was destroyed by the rebels. After her the farm came probably to her daughter, Sofie Holgersdatter Rosenkrantz (+ 1558) who in 1551 or 52 after her husband hr. Axel Brahe's death gave her brother's children various estate and V. came probably to Erik Rosenkrantz of Arreskov (+ 1575), who in 1573 exchanged it with among others 17 farms in V.village to the king for Kærstrup (later Valdemars slot) at Tåsinge. The farm was after the exchange equipped as a royal hunting farm with "fish parks" in the lake. In 1574 the king gave Eggert Ulfeldt at Roskildegård command to abolish the newly established royal hunting house in Høed, since one royal hunting house in this district was enough. Frederik II stayed in the following years often at V.gård, from where several royal letteres were issued. In 1585 the vasalry went to the king's "lone wolf ", Andreas von Stufenborg. In 1587 Andreas announced that the buildings were fallen into decay. Later the sources are silent about the farm. It was possibly replaced by the farm Nygård close by, which is mentioned in 1624, when the peasants in Valsømagle complained about that a field, which had earlier belonged to the village, was transferred to Nygård, without their taxes being reduced. In 1627 high court judge Jakob Ulfeldt at Ringsted kloster had royal command to let the decayed buildings at Nygård break down and use the material for Ringsted kloster's corn barn.
At the north side of Haraldsted sø (lake ) south of Valsømagle village lies the enigmatic earthwork Ridebanen. It consists of a 3 m high, half circular bank, closed towards the lake but open towards the land, where the two ends of the bank, with a distance of 50 m, join a hillside. A road leads down the hillside to the place inside the banks.
A little west of Ridebanen at the lakefront lies the wellkept castle bank Nygård, the old site of Valsøgård. It consists of a four-sided bank, surrounded to the west by a moat, to the north, east and south by hollows, which originally might have been water-filled. In the southern hollow are two small rectangular ponds. Upon the castle bank are traces of a boulder foundation of two wings, an eastern and a northern. In the lakefront outside the castle bank are rests of pilework. Still rests of the road across the moat are seen. The farm was destroyed during the grevefejden (civil war) but was probably rebuilt.
Farthest out upon a small landtongue, which stretches from the east out to the low meadows at Gørlev sø, lies the wood-covered castle bank Gørrildsborg or Jarleborg; it consists of a rectangular bank (ab. 55 x 45 m). In connection to this a lesser front-terrain stretches to the northwest; this is hardly a part of the fortification, but only the farthest end of the ridge, in which the bank was cut out. The situation of the castle must probably be viewed in connection to the old "Kongevej" (king's road), which passed east of the bank and the river at Holtebro.
Upon a hill south of Skåninggård in Valsømagle were in 1938 found traces of a monk brick wall upon a boulder foundation. It is not known to where the wall work belongs. Some pieces of ceramic seem to date to the High Middle Ages.
Listed prehistorics: At Kastrupgård a long dolmen with 2 chambers; at Skee Tåstrup a very disorganized dolmen chamber. 6 hills, like the impressive Dronninghøj and Kernehøj, both west of H.
Demolished: A dolmen and 25 hills, mostly in the western part of the parish, Kongshøj west of H. was very impressive.
In Skee Mose (moor), was found a now disappeared settlement from the Maglemose culture. At Valsømagle was a rich and important sacrifice find from the beginning of Bronze Age with 5 axes, a sword, 4 spearheads, a dagger and a fish hook, it was found in two piles with about 80 m's distance. At H. a burial place from late Roman Iron Age.
Names from the Middle Ages :
Haraldsted (1231 Haraldstath, 1357 Konigsharaldstethe); Valsømagle (1321 Walsye Maklæ); Skee (1256 Scethæ); Skee Tåstrup (ab. 1370 Thorstop); Allindelille (1257 Alunde paruum); Egtvedgård (ab. 1525 Egtuid); Kastrupgård (ab. 1525 Kastrvp).
Source: Trap Danmark, Sorø amt, 1954.
photo 2004: grethe bachmann